I recently came across an article on npr.org entitled “Your Doomscrolling Breeds Anxiety. Here’s How To Stop The Cycle.” It refers to the habit that many of us have on social media where we flit on our phones from one depressing news story to another, almost compulsively. It makes the point that the COVID Pandemic has produced a virtually endless supply of bad news stories, and that lockdown has given many of us even more time to doomscroll. When done before bedtime, it is probably a significant contributor to the recent increase in insomnia.
For years now UK politics has been like this: whatever the Conservative Government says I assume is a lie until proven otherwise. I find this to be a significant source of stress. There are numerous examples of the UK Government lying to the public in the last few years, but perhaps the most outrageous recent examples are the lies they have told over the preparation for, and management of, the current COVID Pandemic.
“When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money.”
Zoonoses (human infections of animal origin) have become increasingly important in recent decades. Viral infections in this category include HIV, Ebola, and the Coronavirus diseases MERS, SARS, and most recently COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2. This is not an accident: it results from the relentless tendency of humans to plunder ecosystems without regard for the consequences.
President Donald Trump has made a number of references in the past, and made a few more in his recent 4th July Address to the Nation, to the fact that SARS-CoV-2 originated in China. He always makes these remarks in a way that suggests (a) that China deliberately, or by negligence inflicted the virus on the World; and (b) that such a thing would never happen in the United States of America.
A lot of the strange conspiracy theories connected with COVID involve 5G mobile networks. These ideas have sprung up all over the World, even in countries like Bolivia, which doesn’t have 5G technology!
“The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory.
The truth is far more frightening - Nobody is in control.
The world is rudderless.”
I previously made the point that social media platforms can provide an invaluable means of spreading useful public health information about the coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also generated a variety of bizarre beliefs, and these have spread throughout the World, largely through social media. Social media services have also allowed individuals to denigrate effective measures, such as social distancing, and to promote totally ineffective coronavirus “cures”.
I used to be a great sleeper. As a child, I remember there once was a severe storm that caused a lot of structural damage, including blowing down several chimneys in Glasgow tenements. I slept right through it! None of the stresses and strains of my professional life ever led me to lose much sleep, although, to be fair, until I went part-time in my last 2 years of work, I think exhaustion was a great help in leading me to the Land of Nod!
Covert hairdressing in the Time of COVID One of the most irritating things about Coronavirus Lockdown is not being able to get a haircut. I have a strong family history of baldness, and as I have got older my hair has become pretty thin on top. However, the same can’t be said for the back…